Computers are filled with materials that are either in high demand or becoming scarce. With the recycling system creating incentives for recycling materials such as steel, aluminum, gold copper or silver, you can make a little extra money back as you throw away an old computer or scrap a failed system. If you don't know what's worth recycling, take a look at a few materials to understand what may be worth your scrapping time.
Computer Case And Framework
Probably the most noticeable part for computer recycling is the computer case. It may be covered with acrylic or other types of plastic for decoration, but there's still metal inside.
The case itself is usually made out of aluminum, although a steel framework is sometimes used if the computer needs a more sturdy design. You can remove the cover layer of the case for easy storage or folding and cutting, but there's still more metal in the framework.
Computer components are held inside shelves and other compartments made of folded aluminum, which can be either torn apart or melted down for easier storage. Be careful, as some edges are not folded and are quickly cut with a razor-like edge, which can cut if your fingers slide against the framework.
Heat Sinks For Aluminum Or Copper
Heat sinks are used to transfer heat away from components for easier cooling. They're made by using a solid block of metal, then cutting fins into the top to allow airflow. Air passes through the fins to transfer the heat away, usually with the aid of a fan or through liquid cooling systems.
Aluminum may be the most common heat sink material, but copper can be found in many aftermarket computers, such as computers designed for gaming or graphic design. The heat sinks can be pulled away from their components by twisting and pulling, although you may need a screwdriver to pry the block away.
As with many other metal sources inside the computer, heat sink fins can be sharp. If you're running into resistance while removing the heat sink, put on a pair of gloves to get a better grip and to protect your hands.
Thermal paste is used to facilitate the transfer of heat between a component and the heat sink, so you may want to use a thermal paste solvent to remove the paste for easier removal. If you're not worried about damaging computer components, nail polish or other acetone products can be used. Be sure to follow the safety instructions on acetone products, as they can irritate the skin and eyes.
Contact a team of scrap metal buyers (like Big Daddy Scrap) to discuss demand and to find the going rate for certain materials.